If one wants to know how an entire family should work with the service motto, the best example is the life of appUdhi adikaL n^AyanAr. adikaLAr lived in a village called thiN^kaLUr , the place where the Moon worshipped the Lord. Devotion to the Lord who stopped the poison in His throat was adikaLAr's determination. Anger, lie, deception, infatuation and low quality thoughts do not reside with him as the fog can not approach the Sun. He came in the tradition of chanting the sweet vEdas. Though never seen before tied himself mentally to the feet of the king of words thirun^Avukkarachar (1), hearing about his devotion and the grace the Lord made for him.
His love for thirun^Avukkarachar was so much that he became slave of his name. He named the kids, the cows, the cooking vessels, everything one sees in his house as thirun^Avukkarachu . Probably if one had asked what his name was, He could have said thirun^Avukkarachu . He had never seen his form but always remembering his name and his service to the Lord. He founded a lots of inns, digged ponds, installed many tents where cool water and drinks were served to the passers by travelling in the severe heat, much much more for the benefit of the slaves of shambhu . All these were bearing the name of only thirun^Avukkarachar, and no where his own name seen.
While his service continued in the name of the servant of the shankar , that great thirun^Avukkarachar, chanting of whose wonderful words could be the greatest boon to one's tongue, after worshipping and doing the uzavArap paNi (Removing the pests and plants that cause disturbance near the temples by a small instrument ) in the town called thirup pazanam , came in the way to thiN^kaLUr as he wished to pray the Lord in other nearby towns. Under the heat of the hot Sun that was like the mental saffocation of the jealous, he saw a water shelter that was like the peace of mind that God offers to the devotees. He arrived in that shelter to have some water, the thing more worthy than even the food. He was surprised by the name thirun^Avukkarachar beautifully written all over there. That most humble sage asked the people there who was running that service in that name. They told him that it was one among the services that a person by name appUdhi adikaLAr who does the worship growing fire everyday for the well being of the entire world.
thirun^Avukkarachar arrived at appUdhi adikaLar's doorsteps. As soon as appUdhi adikaLAr heard that there was a devotee of the Lord who holds the holy river ganga in His head, arrived in his house, he rushed forward to welcome him. Without knowing that he was the man he had been worshipping all along, he prostrated to that devotee who prostrated to him even before he did. When appUdhi adikaL asked what was the big austerity he did to recieve a man of well grown love to the Lord. The marvellous sage, thirun^Avukkarachar who always thinks only about the service to the Lord told him that he saw the nice water shelter and heard much about the other services as well that he did but was wondering why in place of his name he wrote some other name . Irked by his reference to the name of his adoration as "some other name", appUdhi adikaL shouted, what a statement you gave, is the name of one who won the sabotage of the silly among the jains combined with the king by the marvel of his holy service some other name for you? The world knows the fame of that flawless for whom the rock that he was tied to and put in the sea became a boat out of his love for Him. In the holy dressings you told this unpleasent words, Who are you, Where do you come from ?
The humblest of the humble, thirun^Avukkarachar knowing his love told, "Am the silly person who without realising the greatness of Lord shiva joined some other religions and enslaved by the mercy of the lord by giving a severe stomach pain." Shocked, speechless, petrified was appUdhi adikaLar when he realised that that devotee was thirun^Avukkarachar. Fell down and held his feet on his head with stammering words. He felt like a poor getting heap of gold. He sang danced in happiness, brought the entire family, friends and relatives to salute the great sage. Sprinkling the water on themselves with which they washed the feet of the king of the tongue the entire family rejoised. He appealed to accept the feast at his house. When thirun^Avukkarachar accepted it he felt it was a boon much more than his good karma and must be the grace of Almighty only. His wife prepared plenty of pleasing food varities. The couple asked their eldest son by name mUththa thirun^Avukkarachu (eldest thirun^Avukkarachu) to get the banana leaves to serve the food on. That boy was fast in action thinking he got this covetable opertunity by the order of a good mother and father. When he cut the leaves a snake bit him in the hand. That young immense devotee hastened up to hand over the leaves to his parents before the speed of the poison could kill him with the determination not to reveal the snake bite as it would delay the feast to the devotee. Should the father be praised for bringing up such a nice child or is it the child for living for the principles of the father ? Anyway the entire family excelled.
The parents found out from the son who fell down dead after handing over the leaves that he was dead by snake bite. With the enthusiasm to host the devotee occuping the mind they covered their loving son in a mat and obscured it from the sight. He rushed to the sage as it was getting delayed for his feast. After appUdhi adikaLAr washed his fet, before having the food thirun^Avukkarachar blessed the couple and their children with the holy ash. Then he asked where the eldest son was to have the holy ash. Not willing to tell what happened, adikaL said, "He won't be of use now". With something striking his heart thirun^Avukkarachar asked him to tell what happened. Though didn't want to miss the hosting of feast to the devotee, unable to conceal it against his principles as he had asked for the fact, appUdhi adikaL told him the incident. Apalled by his action thirun^Avukkarachar prayed to the God in his magnetic words with the thEvAram onRu kolAm avar chin^dhai uyarvarai to bring the child back to life. For the man of sincere service Almighty will do anything. While the town exclaimed at the kid's survival, adikaL was little worried that he disturbed the feast little bit !
thirun^Avukkarachar came to his house for accepting his feast and doing away with his disappointment. appUdhi adikaL arranged the banana leaf beautifully for the food. The sage asked him and the children to have food along with him. Devotees yearn for having food along with other devotees. That feast was more than satisfying for that family and so was it for the sage. After staying with him for some days the emperor of simple sweet words left for thirup pazanam to recite hymns on the Lord where he adored the love of appUdhi adikaLar in one of the thEvAram. With the love for the God and slavery for thirun^Avukkarachar mutually promoting one another resided under the dancing feet of the Lord. Let the selfless service of appUdhi adikaL n^AyanAr and his family stay in the mind.
gurupUjai : thai - sathayam.